And while a fierce DVD format war will likely delay the mass adoption of such devices, digital video is here to stay, with the Consumer Electronics Association trade group estimating 25 million U.S. homes will have a high-def TV set by year's end.
But big, expensive flat-panel sets aside, this year's gadget show offered plenty of smaller screens for video featuring the works of the phalanx of celebrities — Tom Cruise, Robin Williams were among just a few entertainers on hand — who came to Las Vegas to help hawk them.
Those included a gaggle of handheld devices that can play live or stored TV, music videos and even NBA games, one of the offerings Google Inc. announced.
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Yahoo Inc., DirecTV, Starz Entertainment Group and Sony were also among the companies getting deeper into the business of trying to make it simple to watch recorded Hollywood movies, home video and even live streaming television wherever you may be, on all manner of device.
Not to be outdone, radio was out in force as well, including palm-sized satellite receivers that hold hours of recorded music. Digital radios, which promise a high-definition listening experience from traditional earth-bound stations, were also on display as that service begins a wider national rollout this year.
Among the more interesting gizmos on display at the show, which ends Sunday:
The device, from Pioneer Electronics, allows users to store songs taken from their own CD collection, as well as 50 hours of XM programming. Playlists can combine songs from both sources.
Users can also bookmark songs they hear on XM, then buy the tracks for 99 cents from Napster. The device will be available in March and retails for $399. A boom box and car kit are also available.
The Helix XM2Go player is similar to the Pioneer Inno and will also sell for $399 in March.